Originally Posted by gatorhead
I am sorry that I missed this until now. Could it heal on it's own? There are some studies that suggest that they could heal themselves if they are bulging and not torn or prolapsed. This can be achieved by physical therapy and injection type therapy. I personally think the injection therapy is something they are forcing down our throats because they can charge and be paid for an outpatient surgery! I have not had personal success with either, and I don't know a single person who has and I know A LOT of spine patients!
Can it move left or right? It can in essence, if it were to prolapse or for a lack of a better analogy, terminology, and visual reference, squirt out and move left or right. I would be referring to the nucleus here and it it what mine did only because it had no where else to go. It stays in the general area, and that area isn't large at all. It could be positioned more to one side or the other and still remain central. That was harder to explain than I thought lol
The doctors are on me to have the surgery, YES! I have not had it, and I will not have it until I 1. can't take it no more 2. can't walk at all 3. defecate on my shoes. Kinda graphic but that's how I feel. My mom had her's fused in 82 and I grew up watching that nightmare scenario unfold so for me it is an ultimate last option. I have had 2 neck surgeries now, those were necessary and unavoidable (VERY similar to your condition only in my neck). What I have been told about the back at those locations is that it could permanently affect bladder/bowel function, walking, and sexual function.
That all being said I agree with the other's it is a case by case scenario. True I am not a doctor, but I am very well versed with these things as is most other's here from having to deal with it first hand. I can also tell you that what I saw on your reports your surgeon seemed to see the same thing, it is severe central stenosis. What makes this a problem is your cord is being compromised and at a point where, not the pain, but the preservation of the cord is at risk. There is no more room for error. The type of surgery most often used for this is decompression or laminectomy. However if there is any sign of DDD then they will most likely want to fuse. All of that being said I would have a thorough discussion with the surgeon and ask EVERYTHING you want to ask and he/she should be able to answer them all immediately and appropriately. I always recommend a second opinion to a surgeon OUTSIDE of that hospital or medical firm completely independent of the first.
Not trying to scare you or be doom and gloom, just trying to put it into layman's terms. I will pray for you and I wish you the best. PLEASE get that second opinion soon!
Thanks for taking the time to explain. I understood it clearly (or I think I did, at least
). I am against surgery for many reasons, so I can see why you are waiting on it. In my case, though, this pain is affecting my ability to work even the most menial job, and the longer it lingers, the longer I'm putting off finishing college and starting a career. It's a serious cause of frustration for me.
Like I said, I will be ecstatic if this injection will alleviate my pain, but I'm worried about any permanent damage that I either already have or will eventually have if the severe stenosis doesn't get dealt with. I was quite surprised at how blunt my doctor was about having surgery: he said that even though I'm a younger guy, he didn't want to wait very long to make the call for surgery or not because of the severity of the issue. He said he wanted me to do the pt and injection to make sure he covered all the bases before resorting to surgery. I'm not sure what three weeks of physical therapy could do, but I'm willing to try it if it gets me to a solution sooner. If we decide on having the surgery, I'll definitely have a large list of questions ready to ask.
Again, I appreciate your support, as well as everyone else who has taken the time to comment in this thread. Without you guys, I'd be going insane, trying to decipher this MRI report, and I'd probably end up with some very wrong conclusions, like assuming my legs are going to fall off or something.